Carnegie Mellon is tackling some of the biggest issues facing data center managers, including improving energy efficiency, slashing management costs, and creating streamlined consolidation strategies. Ganger is leading the charge.

Darrell Dunn, Contributor

July 1, 2006

2 Min Read

Photograph by Jim Judkis
Greg Ganger
Professor And Director Of The Parallel Data Lab, Carnegie Mellon University
Interview by Darrell Dunn



In May, Carnegie Mellon opened the Data Center Observatory, a consolidated data center for the school and a lab for researchers to study data center operations and costs. "The most important problem we can address is to figure out how to automate administration."


The university's research is funded by a large number of technology companies and government agencies. "This is a long endeavor that will involve a lot of people, a large army of researchers."


Ganger grew up in Michigan and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He spent two years as a doctorate associate at MIT and the past 10 at Carnegie Mellon. "Academia wasn't something I thought would be a career. But along the line, I had an amazing instructor who inspired me to want to invent and teach."


Once known primarily for coal mining and steel manufacturing, Pittsburgh has evolved into a technology and medical research hub. Gone are the days of smog-filled skies and bellowing smokestacks. "It's a well-kept secret. The city would rather it wasn't such a secret, but for those of us who live here, it's a great environment."


When he's not coaching the baseball team of either his 4- or 6-year-old sons, Ganger most often can be found on the basketball court. "Basketball is a real demonstration of teamwork. Someone has to do the skunk work, like setting picks and getting rebounds. That's similar to the real world where someone has to roll up their sleeves and get the work done, not just tell people what to do."

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